Stage set for epic final encounter
EXPECT nothing less than an epic encounter when Coffs United and Urunga meet in tonight's North Coast Football grand final.
A fortnight ago these two met in the major semi-final, which the Lions won 5-4 after scores were locked at three goals each after 90 minutes of play.
The two regular season matches brought a 2-all draw at Urunga's renowned Cabbage Patch ground while the Lions sewed up the minor premiership with a 3-1 win at Maclean St late in the season.
All three clashes have been memorable, but tonight's clash has local football historians reminiscing about another classic encounter.
Five years ago the Lions and Raiders played out the most thrilling (and at times spiteful) grand final in North Coast Football history.
On that night the Lions were favourites, just like tonight, but the Raiders claimed the trophy after winning a heart-stopping penalty shootout 8-7.
All that history points to a match that is worthy of a big crowd at BCU International Stadium tonight.
Of course, history means very little as all it takes is one moment of brilliance or lapsed concentration to decide a grand final.
Defences will have to be on their collective guard for the full 90 minutes as Urunga and Coffs United are both capable of not just grabbing the odd goal but a quick rush of them to break a game wide open.
For United, a lot is expected of the old guard that has been responsible for the team reaching its eighth consecutive grand final.
The Mackay brothers, Ben and Sam, the Wiseman brothers, Anthony and Josh, along with Nathan Silvy, Nick Lambert and midfielder Scott Goddard have all been to the final game of the season many times before and can cause plenty of damage.
Urunga is no shrinking violent in front of goal though, as evidenced by the Raiders scoring 52 goals in its last 14 matches.
Mitch Tutt and Grant Homes can score plenty of goals and the pair is provided plenty of quality ball from Jaxen Heward, Jordan Paix and Ben Dooley.
Coffs United is a deserved favourite for tonight's eagerly anticipated clash but Urunga is more than capable of causing an upset and securing a second title.